The Garden of Eden at Night

S. P. Dinsmoor  |  1843-1933  |  Lucas, KS

Concrete sculpture environment  |  Created: 1905-1927

Back to the Garden, again.  This time it is to celebrate the Garden of Eden’s 100th anniversary.  In honor of this auspicious event, the group of folks that own the Garden are throwing a party in honor of the oldest folk art environment in the United States, and I have volunteered to do a book signing (shameless self-promotion) and donate half of the proceeds to the cause.  

This is the first time I have ever seen the Garden at night, just the way Dinsmoor intended.  When he completed the Garden of Eden, he had an electrical generator to power the lights (the only one in Lucas at the time.)  Lucas is about the halfway point for the train that ran between Kansas City and Denver.  Imagine crossing the dark prairie at night, and seeing this bright light in the distance.  Local legend has it that the train would stop and let folks off to see the marvelous site and listen to Dinsmoor do a little Populist politics preaching.  

Even tonight, the sight/site is awe-inspiring.  Adding to the fun, next door neighbor of the Garden, Erika Nelson, reenacted Dinsmoor (Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan, and now Erika…)and led guided tours in character, all the while being filmed by both the guys from Rare Visions and the Canadian film crew for “Shrines and Homemade Holy Places” (I had been interviewed earlier in the day for a segment on M.T. Liggett, another Kansas visionary of a different sort.)

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